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Stones last won the day on May 3

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  1. No bagged cement to be had up here, apparently won't be any until well into July.
  2. Exactly my experience at our old house. Hedgehogs worked flawlessly and kept all the gutters clear and free flowing. Didn't need to secure as the slate overhang ensured they stayed in place.
  3. @Redoctober - yes looked at those, although not ideal for the specific application (which is a round semi sunken area) that prompted this thread. We have a second sitting area where it may well still be an option. How effective have you found it? Do you experience much in the way of vortice/eddy effect and how much flex / billow is there? How close to the sitting area have you fitted it?
  4. Yes and no. It's certainly the case with a completely solid break that you get vortice and eddy. The porosity (thanks @A_L) slows / bleeds the speed down and prevents the vorticing and eddy effect. I watched this lecture on the subject, a bit drawn out but some useful info: The optimum for my location and application would seem to be a windbreak that has a porosity of 40-60%, so I'm going to go with the 110g/m2 mesh. I'll have enough to experiment and double up to see how much of a difference it makes. The heavier mesh I looked at was more a balcony privacy screen, perhaps more akin to the weave of a bulk bag, and having experiment with the latter, I need more bleed through of air given the supporting structure I will have.
  5. Cannot find an answer to this so hoping someone might have the answer. I'm looking to create a short term windbreak around a patio area, until such time as the permanent planted windbreak has grown. I plan to use a windbreak mesh. Of course a wide variety available. The key question is am I better doubling up layers of a light 110g/m2 mesh or a single layer of 220g/m2? Which option is going to be better at reducing wind/provide the biggest reduction?
  6. Trial slabs. Concrete 3:2:1 mix by hand in barrow. Slab 1, Veg oil used as release agent Clearly I didn't get it all fully mixed. Slab 2, veg oil used as release agent. Slab 3, silicone spray used as release agent. This slab was made with quarry dust as the aggregate, whereas 1 and 2 used Type 1 MOT. It was also a wetter mix which I think is why it broke. Lessons learned: Veg oil as release agent works, as does silicone spray. Concrete mix shouldn't be overly wet. 72 hours in mould to cure may be better than the 48 I gave them. Use a concrete mixer to ensure consistency of mix. I'm reasonably happy with first slabs cast. My neighbour is kindly lending me his mixer, and I'm hopefully getting a loan of a vibrating table to speed up production.
  7. I have acquired a number of (plastic) concrete slab moulds (riven face) with the intention of casting my own slabs. I plan to trial different aggregate types (coarse gravel / quarry dust), and adding colourant to see what comes out best, using a basic 1:2:3 mix. I'm aware I will need to use a release agent of some sort in the moulds. I know vegetable oil has been suggested here before (rather than the significantly more expensive release agents you can buy). Anything else anyone would advise using?
  8. The BuildHub forum was founded by the Forum Foundation Group (FFG) in 2016, following the closure of a large UK-based self-build forum. The forum has continued to grow significantly and we currently have over 8000 registered users, and that number continues to rise daily. To date, BuildHub has been managed on a private and voluntary basis by a small group of members known as the Forum Management Group (FMG). The FMG looks after BuildHub's day-to-day running, including hosting and maintaining the forum software, moderating member posts, and managing membership applications. The FMG was originally constituted as a Members Association for the purpose of forum governance and ownership. While this was the quickest and easiest way to get the forum up and running, it has the disadvantage of not having an associated legal entity. The absence of a legal entity means that many suppliers will not contract directly with Buildhub. The result is that BuildHub contracts and assets such as forum software licences, server space, and URL ownership remain in the names of FMG members, which places a large legal burden on those members, and also involves risk to BuildHub. To address this ongoing issue, the FMG recently approved motions to: Form a Private Company Limited by Guarantee; and On an agreed date, dissolve the Members Association known as the Forum Management Group, and transfer its assets, including ownership of the forum, to the new company. To this end, Buildhub Forum Management Limited has been formed as a not-for-profit company, limited by guarantee. The company will operate the BuildHub forum website, provide a limited liability structure to own and operate the forum, and ensure that the forum software licences, server space and URL ownership are no longer subject to a single point of failure or irrecoverable circumstances. The company directors are not remunerated, and the costs for operating the forum and its support will be kept to those essential to run and operate the service. The date of handover was 30th April 2021, and this is the formal notification that it has been completed. BuildHub has always operated on a strictly non-commercial basis and will continue to do so. Advertising is not allowed and members may not offer services to other members via the public forum. This policy will remain under the new structure. Similarly, BuildHub intends to continue with its periodic donation funding model. Day-to-day operations will continue to be run by volunteers giving freely of their time and expertise in much the same way as it is now. This group will be known as the Operational Management Committee (OMC). Information about how you can get involved in the running of the forum will be posted shortly. In practice, your experience of using the BuildHub forum should be unchanged. As chair, and on behalf of the members of the now-dissolved Forum Management Group, I would like to express my thanks for your support of BuildHub since its creation. We look forward to the continued growth and improvement of BuildHub under this new and long-term sustainable structure.
  9. We have our Biopure pumped out every 2 years, by SW at a cost of £183. No issues at all and tanker driver seemed happy and said it all looked fine. Whether we drop to a 3 yearly empty when the kids depart, I'm not sure.
  10. Hire a rotovator for the weekend, break it up. Roughly level and finish with topsoil.
  11. A few round and about us, all owners pleased with them. Not sure I'm interested enough to justify the investment though. Aware of a few folk building their own, sourcing the components themselves either fish pen pipe, or if you have some shelter 63mm water pipe - could save you a fair bit I think. Have the name of the polycarbonate supplier (7m lengths) that they use if it helps.
  12. I believe the report indicates that the climate committee has factored in 50C as the default running temp for heating with an ASHP. Those with an ASHP know that CoP at that temp is woeful, and would indeed cost householders a lot more in terms of electricity compared to gas price for the same level of kWh of delivered heat. That's a big ask / sell. Hydorgen is interesting. Commercially, due to the conversion % it has as far as I know never been economically viable, however the advent of excess electricity produced by renewables means that there is a resource that can be used to make it economic to produce, whilst at the same time maintaining current retail electricity prices (as I don't think for a minute that either government or the energy sector has any desire to see electricity prices fall as should happen in a true market when supply exceeds supply). Test project has been ongoing up here for a while: Lots of possibilities, although the one question I have is where all the water will come from if we start producing Hydrogen on an industrial scale...
  13. Thanks Terry. Really interesting to see. We use a bit more and over the past 4 years it has ranged between 6500 and 7000 kWh for heating. We are achieving a CoP of 3.8 over the heating season, so an input energy requirement of between 1700 and 1842 kWh. At my current tariff of 13.44p/kWh I'm paying £228 and £247 per annum, to keep the house comfortably at 21.5C When I was deciding which route to go down I compared various different options and configurations and came to the following conclusion. If DHW and Heating requirement were sub 2500 kWh then direct electric resistive heating was the most cost effective. Between 2500 and 5000 kWh the balance started to shift to other solutions and over 5000 kWh then ASHP won out. Looking at your heating figures, and assuming you could get the same 3.8 CoP, would mean an input energy requirement of 1250 kWh per annum. Split 750/500 between night/day would cost you £147 per annum. Your in the realms of it making sense financially based on a ten year life of an ASHP (which is what I factored), but probably not enough for the hassle given you have a perfectly functional set up. Of course the real beauty of your set up is the simplicity of the willis heater and ease of repair. This brings us full circle back to what we concluded a few years ago when we discussed this, different ways to meet individual requirements (which of course vary but may be the biggest decision drivers) but ultimately, the overall cost balances out for a given energy requirement (for low/lowish energy requirements).
  14. @TerryE you've perhaps said before, what is your annual usage in kWh for heating, and the target internal temp you maintain?